Deadlines are fast approaching for two longstanding major screenwriting fellowships — the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting and the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab. For even more motivation, the Black List just announced the opening of the submission period for its 2016 Feature Screenwriters Lab. Check out the pertinent details for each fellowship below.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

  • Deadline: April 18, 2016, 11:59 pm PT (Regular); May 2, 2016, 11:59 pm PT (Late)
  • Fee: $60 (Regular); $85 (Late)
  • Eligibility: Writers who have not earned more than $25,000 for writing for film and/or television in their lifetimes are eligible to submit an original screenplay. U.S. and international writers are eligible to apply.
  • Entry Requirements:
    • Original feature-length screenplay, no shorter than 70 pages, no longer than 160 pages, in PDF format
    • Completed online application form
    • Entry fee
  • Additional info:
    • 7,422 scripts were entered in 2015.
    • All scripts are read at least twice in the initial round. About 15% of scripts are read a third time, usually when the first two scores diverge between high and low. Roughly 5% of scripts reach the quarterfinal round. About 2% of scripts reach the semifinal round. Typically 10 scripts reach the finalist round.
    • Industry readers who are not members of the Academy judge scripts in the first and quarterfinal rounds. Academy members read and judge scripts in the semifinal round. The Academy Nicholl committee reads and judges the finalist round to choose the Fellowship winners.
    • Up to five Fellowship winners will receive $35,000. During the Fellowship year, winners are required to write a new original screenplay.
  • How to Apply: Online applications are available here.

Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab

  • Deadline: May 3, 2016, 6 pm PT for open submissions to the January Screenwriters Lab and International January Screenwriters Lab
  • Fee: $40
  • Eligibility: Filmmakers who are working on their first or second feature film are eligible to apply. If you have completed two or more feature films, you are not eligible. If you are a director developing a screenplay with a screenwriter, you may apply together as a team. Open to both U.S. and international applicants. U.S. citizens, including those living abroad should apply to the January Screenwriters Lab. Non-U.S. citizens should apply to the International January Screenwriters Lab.
  • Entry requirements:
    • A bio (500 word limit, up to three per project)
    • Cover letter (750 word limit) introducing yourself, your project and how you think the Lab with help you with your project
    • An artistic statement (1000 word limit) describing your creative vision for your project. Specifically from the Sundance Institute: "Here's an example of the type of information we're looking for: What is your personal connection to the material? What do you want an audience to take away from your film? How do you envision the realization of this script in terms of story, character, tone, and/or visual style? Is there a budget level you have in mind, and who is the audience you most want to reach? Why are you passionate about this story? If this is a resubmission of material we've considered previously, how has the material changed or transformed since we last read it?"
    • A 1-2 sentence logline of your project
    • A brief synopsis of your story (1000 word limit)
    • The first five pages of the screenplay, no more
    • Entry fee
  • Additional info: Twelve fellows are chosen for the January Screenwriters Lab, January 13-18, 2017 at Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah. All travel, lodging and expenses are covered. Fellows meet one-on-one with a number of professional screenwriters who share notes, ideas and feedback about the fellows' scripts. Check out Ryan Koo's post on his experience as a fellow at the 2014 Screenwriters Lab and listen to a podcast with Ryan interviewing some of the 2016 fellows at Sundance this year to hear what really happens during the Lab.
  • How to Apply: Online applications are available here.

2016 Black List Feature Screenwriters Lab

  • Deadline: Script evaluations that are purchased on the Black List before midnight PT on August 6, 2016 will be considered for the Feature Screenwriters Lab
  • Entry fee: The Black List standard fees of $50 for a script evaluation and $25 a month for script hosting apply. No additional fee necessary to opt in to be considered for the Feature Screenwriters Lab. Scripts need to be active on the site for one month between now and August 31, 2016. If your script was evaluated earlier, but is not currently live, you need to activate the script for at least one month and opt in to the 2016 Feature Screenwriters Lab to be considered.
  • Eligibility:
    • You are the only author of your screenplay.
    • You have not earned more than $100,000 cumulatively for your writing for film and/or television.
    • If you are one of the fifteen finalists selected on September 1, 2016, you will submit a professional resume and one-page personal statement no later than noon PT on September 8, 2016.
    • If selected for the Lab, you are able to attend the program in Los Angeles on October 16-22, 2016.
  • Entry requirements: Opt in to the 2016 Feature Screenwriters Lab when submitting your feature length script for evaluation and hosting on the Black List. If your script is currently hosting, update your My Script profile to opt in.
  • Additional info:
    • Six to eight non-professional writers will be chosen as fellows on September 16, 2016.
    • U.S. domestic airfare, lodging, travel to and from the Lab, and food and drink throughout the Lab will be provided to each fellow.
    • Both U.S. and international applicants can apply. If an international fellow is chosen, that fellow will have to cover airfare to a major U.S. airport. The Black List will cover airfare from that major U.S. airport to Los Angeles.
    • Two of the chosen fellows will be named the Black List's 2016 Sloan Foundation Fellow and the 2016 Brockman Fellow. The Sloan Foundation Fellow will be a writer with a script based in science or technology, and applicants are strongly encouraged to have a science advisor who can attest to the scientific accuracy of the script. The Brockman Fellow will be a writer with a script that takes place in the future and examines how artificial intelligence could impact humanity. Both the Sloan Foundation Fellow and the Brockman Fellow will continue to receive mentoring on their scripts for the year following the Lab. Applicants can opt in to either the Sloan Foundation or Brockman Fellowships when opting in to the Screenwriters Lab.
  • How to Apply: Register your feature screenplay and sign up for an evaluation here. Remember to opt in for the Feature Screenwriters Lab

Will you be submitting to these screenwriting fellowships? Do you have personal experience with these screenwriting fellowships? Share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments.

2016 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

2017 Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab

2016 Black List Screenwriters Lab